Frederick News-Post reporter Nancy Lavin interviewed three undocumented immigrants who live in Frederick. The interviews, conducted through an interpreter, are intended to highlight their experiences in light of local, state and nationwide discussion about immigration enforcement. The people are only identified by their first names as a condition of the interviews. These are their stories.
Seeking refuge from violence
In her native Guatemala, Lidia was aboard a local transit bus when a group of gang members ambushed the bus and killed the driver.
Bus driver killings had become a common occurrence there, often used by local gang members as a form of extortion. But it was the first time Lidia had been a passenger on one of the targeted buses. She was seated directly beside the bus aide, who was also killed.
Lidia said she had a nervous breakdown. She feared the gang members would hunt her down and kill her, too, because she saw the crime.
So she fled, taking her baby, who was 8 months old, with her as she traveled north toward the United States. She had considered applying for a visa, but when the "trauma" happened, she didn't want to wait.